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09/12/2015 - KLM Strengthens Scotland's Connectivity with new Inverness - Amsterdam Service

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is set to expand its medium-haul network with daily flights to (and from) Inverness, marking the airline’s 4th Scottish destination and 17th UK destination. The route will form part of KLM’s new summer schedule for 2016.

Commencing on the 17th of May 2016, the daily flight will connect Inverness to KLM’s award winning hub Schiphol, in Amsterdam. The airline will offer a number of connections to its worldwide network of over 150 destinations from Scotland, including Montreal, Beijing and Hong Kong.

All flights will be operated by KLM Cityhopper, using Fokker 70 jet aircraft, carrying up to 80 passengers.

Fares start from £79 return in economy including all taxes. Flights are open for sale from today on the airline’s website www.klm.com, at KLM Reservations on 0207 66 00 293 and local travel agents. The launch of the Inverness service further cements KLM’s position as the UK’s regional airline of choice and brings the total of Scottish airports served by the airline to 4, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, providing a choice of more than 100 weekly flights to Scottish passengers.

The introduction of Inverness as a new destination also makes it the UK’s largest regional full service intercontinental carrier. Departure airports include London (Heathrow and City), Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Norwich, Southampton and now Inverness. As such, KLM is proud to provide flight connections from the UK regions to the world. On top of adding the new Inverness and Southampton services for Summer 2016, KLM will also be increasing capacity on its UK network including in Birmingham and Leeds Bradford airports.

KLM’s decision to introduce services out of Inverness airport follows a strong business case put forward by the airport (and developed by HIAL in partnership with HITRANS) and KLM's decision to position themselves as the key intercontinental airline for the regions. The research showed significant support for business and leisure sectors for the commencement of the route. KLM is regarded as one of Scotland’s major network carriers and won the regarded SPAA (Scottish Passenger Agent’s Association) “Best European Airline” award for the 15th consecutive year in
November, despite fierce competition in Scotland.

KLM’s hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is consistently voted one of Europe’s best business airports and was voted Best Airport in Europe at the 2015 Business Traveller Awards for the 15th consecutive year. Connections to European cities can be made in as little as 40 minutes; to long haul destinations 50 minutes is enough to efficiently transfer at the airport.

Warner Rootliep, General Manager of Air France-KLM UK & Ireland said: “Demand from Scotland continues to grow and KLM has always invested in its Scottish network and local relationships in the region. We are happy to strengthen our presence in Scotland and are confident this news will be well received. Our experience of being the UK’s largest regional long-haul carrier means we are best placed to understand the needs of local communities and regional businesses and we know that the service we will provide out of Inverness will perfectly answer the needs of the people of Northern Scotland.’

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of Inverness Airport operator HIAL, said: “We are delighted to welcome KLM to Inverness Airport. This service will deliver more choice for passengers from one of Europe’s leading international airlines. With a global network of more than 150 worldwide
destinations, KLM’s arrival ensures local businesses are better connected to key markets around the world, while tourism providers will also benefit as Inverness joins KLM’s world network of destinations. Given the strength of KLM’s brand, reputation and global connections, we are
confident this new service will deliver significant benefits for the Highlands.”

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay said: “This new Inverness-Amsterdam route from KLM is fantastic news, boosting connectivity to the Highlands and Scotland as a whole. By opening up a wide range of onward connections from Schiphol, one of Europe’s busiest hub airports, we offer Scottish businesses improved access to important global markets. This link also makes it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic experiences on offer in the Highlands, which is welcome news for the tourism industry. The Scottish Government is keen to support HIAL to continue to grow the number of routes available from Inverness Airport in the future. I look forward to the new service taking off next year and wish HIAL and KLM every success.”

Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “This daily service, flying directly into Inverness, is fantastic news for the Highlands. It not only links Inverness to one of the world's major aviation hubs - unlocking the potential for growth in our long-haul and emerging markets - but creates further opportunities for our European visitors, many of whom are repeat visitors, to fly directly to the north of Scotland.
“VisitScotland’s objective is to see our country connected into every global airline network and alliance, which is key to growing the visitor economy. This new service from KLM will further enhance the promotion of the Highlands as a must-visit destination where visitors can explore distinct and beautiful landscapes and discover the world-renowned North Coast 500 route."

-ENDS

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